food shopping: how to choose which dry foods to feed your dog. - dry food
To be honest: the main reason many of you are reading this now is ---
Why many of you subscribe to WDJ! --
It is to know which dog food is "the best ". Am I right?
If so, I am sorry to have to report that, on the other hand, no product is "the best" for all dogs and I am happy to tell you that, there may be a lot of food that is "the best" for your dog "!
However, you have to do some homework and some feeding trials in order to know which foods are effective (
What is not)
Every dog for you
Don't worry, though;
We will take you there!
Many people are under the impression that all foods marked "complete and balanced" contain ideal, uniform nutrients ---
It's enough what a dog needs, but not too much.
It would be great if someone knew exactly what the best level of nutrition is for dogs, or all dogs have the same nutritional needs.
However, the consensus of veterinary nutritionists on best dog nutrition is not more than that of human nutrition experts on best nutrition.
There are legal standards and definitions for what is "complete and balanced" dog food, but this call really only puts you in trouble. In the U. S.
There are three very different ways to designate dog food as "complete and balanced ".
"Once you know what they are, you can see why no single product of any kind can be counted to ensure that if the" complete and balanced "product is fed as the only food, your dog will get the best nutrition. term.
Let's take a quick look at the three qualifying criteria for a "complete and balanced" canine diet.
From a regulatory point of view, "complete and balanced" means that food is either (A)
Contains at least all nutrients of the lowest level (
No more than the highest level of some nutrients)
It has been determined that it is essential for dogs (
This is the so-called "nutrition level" qualification); or(B)
, A group of dogs that last for a period of time in a laboratory environment (
Qualification of feeding test; or (C)
Formulated to be very similar to another product produced by a similar company that passed the feeding test (
"Family membership" qualification).
The differences between these qualified methods have led to the uniform formulation of nutrition for pet food company topet food company.
On the contrary, there is a wide range of nutritional levels in the "complete and balanced" dog food on the market.
That's why we don't want you to find an ideal food for your dog-
Because maybe not!
Instead, we recommend hedging your bets by rotating between many good foods for your dog.
A variety of qualified methods of food, not food "complete and balanced" diets, can result in a large amount of macro nutrients in the product category (
Protein, fat, fiber and moisture)
Trace nutrients (
Vitamins and minerals).
If you feed only one food for a few months in a row-perhaps years! --
In fact, you focus the nutritional properties of your food on your dog.
Is food a little higher in some minerals than it should be?
Does it contain an absolute minimum of some vitamins?
These things may not cause problems for any dog in the short term, after a few months (or years! )
Eat the same food, these are less-than-
An ideal level of nutrition can cause health problems, such as the accumulation of toxic minerals (e. g.
Iron, copper, selenium)
Levels of vitamin D or E in the blood continued to be low.
Fortunately, by shifting your dog's diet from food to food, these problems can easily be prevented ---
Products from different manufacturers are also used because some food manufacturers use the same vitamin/mineral "premix" in all products ".
Changing Food regularly helps ensure that your dog gets a nutritional "balance" in any product ". "But, wait! " you say.
"My vet/breeder/rescue team/dog day care operator/best friend told me that I should not switch food because it would make my dog's stomach uncomfortable.
In fact, once, when my pet shop stopped carrying my favorite food, my dog had diarrhea for a week and my dog had diarrhea!
I can't go through this every time I need a bag of new food!
"Here's a secret: most dogs have a more powerful digital system than we do.
For thousands of years, they have been opportunistic, eating anything edible in front of their noses, including grass, fruit, eggs, animals they kill and animals they find dead (
Including mammals, birds, fish, amphibians, reptiles, insects, youname-it)
, And the pieces of any human food they can attract us to give them, and the things we throw away. . . . Including poop.
Our poo and almost all other poo dogs are fair games: deer, rabbits, sheep, cattle, horses.
I'm sorry to make you sick, but it's true.
The key is that the dog is built to make it possible to eat anything and to take advantage of it without getting sick.
So why does your dog have diarrhea for a week when you change food for the last time?
When this happens, it is usually due to one of two things :[check]
You 've been eating the same food for months (YEARS? )
His body now lacks a variety of digestive enzymes and gut bacteria.
The body stops producing enzymes that it doesn't need, and the number of gut bacteria helps to break down food changes in your dog to cope with its feeding.
If you have only eaten rice and lamb for a few years and changed to chicken and lamb overnight, your dog's body will take a week or two to adjust. [check]
Your dog is allergic or intolerant to one or some of the ingredients in the food, or does not tolerate a diet that contains a large amount of nutrients in the food.
We recommend recording all dietary changes for your dog in your notebook or calendar and his response to those changes.
This is the best way to identify trends in which he has any adverse effects on certain ingredients or nutritional levels in the food (
For example, a reliable adverse reaction to a diet containing fish, or a particularly high foodfat foods).
Generally speaking, the more varieties you accumulate in the dog's diet, the more robust his digestive system will become (
Unless he is allergic to certain ingredients or has reliable intolerance).
Keep in mind that the more frequently you switch food, the more you need to be alert to any problems your dog may have after each meal.
For example, if you feed one food in the morning and another at night, your dog starts vomiting at 10m.
Can you definitely link his digestive discomfort to his most recent meal?
If he is alone at home all day and has a dog door, for example, he may vomit on and off all day;
In this case, you may suspect that his dinner time food, in fact, contains something that does not agree with him in the breakfast food.
Your unique schedule and ability to observe your dog throughout the day may determine how good your dog is for you.
Let's go shopping!
We hope so far we have convinced you to at least find some good food for your dog the next time you go shopping.
If you are buying a new dog, or have recently been persuaded to look for prospects that can add diversity to your dog's diet, schedule your next shopping adventure day, when you have a lot of time to do something and observe something that you may have never done or observed before!
This is an ideal strategy for a "big" shopping day when you have time to really study all your dog's dietary options at your local pet store.
First, walk around the entire area showing dry dog food and see what brands are in the store.
Not every store has all the brands.
What you should know is: * pet food dealers serving your area really decide which pet food brands are in a specific area.
Most of the national dealers have higher income
Batch products from pet food giants;
Smaller regional companies may focus on the "natural/holistic" niche of the product.
Distributors must be able to move a certain amount of food from any given company so that they can use it when carrying food ---
So is your local store.
* The type of shop you shop for will partially determine what brand you can buy.
Some pet food companies sell only to independent pet stores;
Others sell their products mainly in the "pet specialty chain (
Think about Petco and PetSmart, and regional chains like assmaller, Centinela Feed, Kriser's natural pet store, Pet Food Express and Pet Supplies Plus).
There are also people who focus their sales on the "big box" store (Target of Wal-Mart)
Or a grocery chain
* Pet food companies sometimes offer rewards in the form of credit or even actual payments ---
Pet supplies store that premiered for their products.
In many stores, when you enter the dry dog food department, the first brand you see will pay for the store, leaving it at the most prominent or first one you encounter when you enterThe higher-cost foods (
This is usually, but not always, and higher-
Will gather at the highest end.
And, in general, the lowestcost (
The lowest average-quality)
Food will be located in the farthest corner of the dry dog food area.
In a minute we will discuss what ingredients meet our selection criteria for good food and which ingredients are lowcost, low-High quality products.
If there are only a few shops you habitually shop (or none)
In the products that meet the selection criteria discussed more fully below, you should probably shop elsewhere!
When I first moved to the town where I have lived for the last decade, the only pet shop in town offered only one brand of food for sale: scientific diet company, one (at the time)
Not a single product that meets my selection criteria.
And not professional (human)food stores (
Like Whole Foods or Trader Joe's)
Senior pet food may be sold in my town.
So over the years, I drove to one of the two nearby towns.
About 20 miles from any of them)
There is a separate pet shop with lots of quality food to choose from.
People in more remote areas may end up having to ship good food directly to them from online pet professional businesses;
Today, this is an increasingly affordable option.
Next, move around slowly to see food prices and find out which foods are within your budget and which are too expensive.
For many dog owners, price is an inevitable and important factor in purchasing decisions.
It may not have a strong impact on those wealthy dog owners, or on a family with a good income and only one dog, or on those with puppies.
But for those of us who have a few dogs, the people who have raised or bred, and the people who have a very large dog, the price of food cannot be completely ignored, especially when from low (
For example, the price of Kal Kan Dry tdog Food 52 pounds is $20, that is, $1. 38 per pound)
For example, $98 for a28. 6-
Champion Orijen "regional red" variety pound pack, or $3. 32 per pound! ).
We always advise you to buy the best food for your dog-
But not everyone can buy the most expensive food, and they should not feel guilty for not doing so.
As a responsible pet owner, be sure you can afford his care.
If you may have to hand over your dog, it doesn't make sense to buy expensive food because you can't afford the emergency vet bill (
Not to mention the electricity bill! ).
It should also be said that some dogs do very well belowcost, lower-quality food.
If not, there would be less production and sales of these foods!
But some dogs are low.
Indigestion with high quality diet (
The most common symptoms are chronic diarrhea or very loose stool and/or persistent gas);
Rough hair, itchy skin;
And/or poor overall health.
Whenever adog has signs of chronic disease, we recommend him to improve his diet.
But if he looks like a million dollars on his diet
Costco, give you more power.
I myself have been buying different foods for different dogs in my house: the highest --
Excellent food for my allergies, elderly border collies, and people with lower weight
Spend food for young and healthy foster dogs and foster puppy's nest, which may stay with me for a few months at a time.
A final consideration on the cost of food: it may make more sense to feed a home at a certain price point --
A prepared diet, or good commercial ingredients (
Frozen or dehydrated)diet.
The price of some of the best and most expensive dry dog food is actually quite the same (
Even more expensive)
These are less. processed (
And, we think, healthier)diets.
Now, the exciting part: read the tag!
This is where the rubber is on the road.
We will start with some large types in front of the bag.
Originally we wrote 2 ". . .
Look at food prices and ingredients, "because you will find that there is usually a direct correlation between food prices and ingredients.
When a product is a grain, there is usually a large font or some kind of starburst on the label --free.
Usually, these foods are more expensive than those containing grains.
Whether you want it or need agrain-
Giving your dog free food is another day's topic, but it can be said here that not all dogs benefit from it, and some dogs do better on a more traditional recipe for grain.
If you have realized that your dog is healthy and/or better digested while eating grain
Eat for free, then these are the foods you need to pay attention.
If you don't have a compelling reason to try them and your dog is in good condition and weighs well, we don't recommend changing this food.
Similarly, when a new protein is present in the food, the food company usually does its best to make it obvious (
Kangaroo, venison, Buffalo, rabbit, etc).
The price of these products is also often higher than that of ordinary protein products such as beef, chicken, mutton, turkey and pork.
Like a grain.
Free food, products made with new proteins are very useful for dogs who are allergic or intolerant to more common protein sources, however, for dogs who do not need them, pay an unnecessary high price.
It's time to start turning over the bags and reading the list of ingredients.
What you want to see on the ingredient list here are the features you want-
What you want to see on thelabel[check]
There is a lot of animal protein at the top of the ingredient list.
Ingredients in pet food, like human food, are listed in the weight order of that ingredient in the formula, so you want to see the top --
Top quality animal protein. [check]
It is important that animal protein should be identified by species such as chicken, beef, lamb, etc.
"Meat" is low-
A source of questionable high-quality protein.
"Poultry" is more specific, but not specific enough! [check]
Animal protein "meal" is rendered by processing, in which animal tissue (
Muscle, fat, skin, connecting tissue and some smaller amount of bones, hair and/or feathers depending on the species)
Grind, then heat to separate the fat and reduce moisture.
If it is made of chicken, the final product is chicken rice;
If it is made of mutton, it is a sheep meal and so on.
Look for a named species like fresh animal protein (i. e.
But avoid "meat meal" or "poultry meal ". " [check]
When a fresh, named meat first appears on the list of ingredients (
Such as "chicken ")
There should be an animal. proteinmeal (
Such as "chicken rice ")
Increase the auxiliary role of animal total protein in diet.
The closer this support meal looks to the top of the ingredient list, the better.
The list of ingredients for the best food will start with "chicken meal. . .
"Continue from there.
There is a lot of fresh meat (heavy)
Water, so if the meat is in the first place, it is like a diluted source of protein;
While it adds a tempting aroma to the food, it doesn't actually contribute that much protein.
That's why another named source of animal protein should appear in the first three or so components. [check]Whole-
Food ingredients: vegetables, fruits and/or sources of grains or other carbohydrates such as potatoes, peas, chickpeas or sweet potatoes.
Fresh, unprocessed food ingredients contain nutrients, and vitamins, enzymes, and antioxidants are intact.
Don't get a "score" or two "(
By-product or part of ingredients such as tomato residue or oatmeal)
Especially if they rank lower in the list of ingredients.
But the more scores exist in the food, the higher the scores appear in the list, and the lower the quality of the results.
We also think it is important that you know some ingredients that need attention.
Avoid the following :[x]
Meat by-product, poultry by-product, meat by-product meal and poultry by-product meal.
Some animal tissues that enter the ingredients identified as animal by-products on the label have high nutrition, such as lungs, spleen, kidney, brain (
Not all animal species.
Liver, blood, bones, fat and empty stomach and intestines.
Poultry by-products also include neck, feet and poorly developed eggs.
In addition, poultry by-product meals may contain poultry heads.
Believe us, however, when we say that these ingredients are not as good as the higher ones
They are a "by-product" cut in the value of meat.
"Because these products are not for human consumption, they are not kept clean and refrigerated through processing and transportation;
Considering that during this time, any bacterial burden will be reduced by post-treatment.
When they are oxidized-rancid--
These animal tissues produce a certain level of peroxide. Pet-
Food producers may specify by-products with lower peroxide values, but the cost of these by-products is higher. [x]
A "normal" source of fat like "Animal fat.
"This can be a mixed fat from any animal source;
It does not necessarily come from the slaughtered animals.
It means that it can be obtained from the bidder handling dead animals.
"Poultry" fat is not as suspicious as "animal fat", but "Chicken Fat" or "duck fat" is better (and traceable). [x]
Dogs like people, like the taste of sweets.
Sweeteners effectively persuade many dogs to eat food consisting mainly of grain fragments (
Contains less healthy animal protein and fat). [x]
Artificial pigments, spices, or preservatives (i. e.
, BHA, BHT, ethoxone).
The color of the food is not important to your dog.
It should be seasoned with healthy meat and fat.
Natural preservatives such as phenol (vitamin E)
It can be replaced with vitamin C and rosemary extract.
Please note that natural preservatives do not save food as long as they are artificial, so owners should always check the "best" date on the label for relatively fresh products.
Other notes we want you to read a lot of other things on the label either good or bad, just something you need to pay attention to when shopping for your particular dog.
Remember, every dog is individual and it's great when you find all your dogs eat the same food, don't take it for granted that you can feed them with the same product. [check]
You need to realize how much protein and fat your dog relies on to survive. -
How much is too much, how much is too little. Top-
High quality food contains more protein (
And usually fatter)than lower-
High quality food, so if you switch from a low one, you may have to reduce the amount of food you feed
The food is very good quality. (
One advantage is that good food is easier to digest and your dog's feces should shrink a lot too. )
Fat and protein content appears on a label called an important part of "guaranteed analysis (GA).
The level of nutrition reported on GA is indeed guaranteed.
If a food is provided by a state feed control officer, or even by a laboratory left by a private consumer, the food does not even contain a nutrient listed on GA, at least the quantity is not shown there and the food may be enforced.
The more nutrients pet food companies list on GA, the more confident they are in the formula in general.
We encourage a number of companies, including details of the nutrients that consumers may pay extra, such as omega 3 fatty acids, or nutrients such as amino glucose and cartilage. [check]
There is no nutritional difference between "puppy" food and "all life" dog food.
All "complete and balanced" food needs to have a "nutritious" or "AAFCO" statement somewhere on the bag, although sometimes the food is printed very small.
The statement contains information about what type of dog the food is for: Adults Only, or "all stages of life ".
The food designated as "puppy" food on the front label may say it was made for "all life ages", "puppy", "growing" dogs, or "growth and reproduction" on the statement of sufficient nutrition ";
The meaning of all these phrases is basically the same.
Nutritional value required by puppies ("growth")
Higher than "adult maintenance", so if a food meets the requirements of "all stages of life", it meets the standards of the puppy.
In contrast, the food stated in saysit for "adult maintenance" is not enough for puppies and may not contain enough protein and other nutrients or high
Remember that there are adjectives on the label to cater to your appetite;
They are nothing!
Frankly, when I saw something like "farm-Carrots grown
Where else can carrots be planted? ! )and "Sun-
Raspberry "(ditto). [check]
Look for a "best date" after at least six months ". A best-
Before the date of 10 or 11 months from isideal;
This means that the food has been made recently.
Note: foods containing synthetic preservatives (
BHA, BHT, ethoxone)
There may be a "best" date that is 18 months or more than the manufacturing date.
Please don't forget to check the date!
Recently, when I finally chose the last bag of specific food, I checked the list of food ingredients in the astore for nearly an hour.
When I remember checking the best I put it in my cart and started walking to the checkout counterby date.
I was shocked to see the food was the best
Date more than a year ago!
I think the smell of a food will surprise me when I open the bag ---oxidized (rancid)
Special flavor of food-
But I'm glad I didn't risk feeding it to my dog or had to travel extra to return it.
The approved food list for the next few pages is a food list that meets all of our selection criteria.
Whether you have seen them before or can get them may depend on where you live and where you shop ---
Remember, though, that many of these products are increasingly available through online pet supply retailers.
Please note that this is not the only food on the market that meets our selection criteria.
You may have other foods that we are not familiar.
If they meet the criteria we outlined above, meet your budget and fit your dog, they will be blessed with us.
Last but not least: We always order the food on our "Approved Food" list in alphabetical order according to the manufacturer's name, because some companies make a few lines of food, we don't want to repeat the contact information for each company.
But every year, we hear from people who want to know why their favorite food is not on our list because they are looking in alphabetical order under the product name,We gave up!
We have ordered the list for this year in alphabetical order of the food name. Happy shopping!